Frozen spinach is something I often use for cooking and so I thought I would share with you how to freeze spinach.
I always remember watching Popeye on TV as a kid and of course being impressed by how strong Popeye got when he ate spinach.
Obviously it was a cartoon but I knew that there must be some truth to this whole thing that spinach is a superfood.
How right my assumption was!
Spinach is an incredibly versatile and nutritious green leafy wonder.
It should definitely be on everyone’s list.
One of my favorite things to make with spinach are the little spinach pies or turnovers we have here in the Middle East.
My aunt Huda is the best at making these delightful spinach pies.
She measures nothing and comes out with a beautiful and delicious product every time.
When I would come home to visit from college she would make a point to make me the spinach pies, and bring them over, much to my delight!
It was a treat which I eventually learned to make for myself.
Never as good as hers, but not too bad, in fact pretty good!
These pies require chopped spinach for the stuffing.
Therefore I chop my leaves before I freeze them so I can easily use them later for cooking.
In the past I often would get my freshly picked spinach leaves at the local farmers market.
Some for freezing, and some for using some in smoothies, soups, and spinach lasagna.
These days I love planting my own spinach, as we do in our little place down in the Jordan Valley.
Spinach is so full of goodness, containing vitamins A, C, and K1, along with folic acid, Iron and Calcium.
These green leaves contain all kinds of plant compounds which can help with eye health, can prevent cancer, and can control blood pressure.
Why Freeze Spinach?
If you grow your own, for example, you will need a way of keeping and storing your fresh spinach for a later date.
Freezing also allows you to to keep prepared spinach for cooking different dishes.
Either chopped or as larger leaves depending on what you will be doing with it.
How to Freeze Spinach
For storing spinach for longer periods it is often best to blanch the spinach first.
You do this by boiling water in a large pot.
Briefly dip the raw leaves in boiling water.
They will instantly wilt, remove right away and place them in a bowl of ice water.
Remove from the cold water and dry on paper towels, removing any excess water.
If you are freezing fresh spinach for a matter of a few weeks, you can freeze spinach without blanching.
Once the leaves are dry place them in freezer bags.
Making sure to squeeze out all the air to help avoid the spinach getting freezer burned.
Place in the freezer and freeze.
Another method is to chop up the spinach into small bits.
Then freeze in ice cube trays with a bit of water for making smoothies.
If using for other things, pour the cubes of spinach out of the ice tray.
And soon you will have thawed spinach, squeeze out excess water and use.
Is Frozen Spinach Flavorful?
Yes, frozen spinach retains its flavor quite well.
Of course once frozen and thawed you would need to use it in cooking because it will not look like its fresh self after freezing.
For salads and things where a fresh flavor is important I would not recommend freezing.
Not because of the flavor, but because of the look of the spinach after freezing.
In cooked dishes or for smoothies, the flavor aspect is no problem at all.
How Long Can You Freeze Spinach For?
This will all depend on the storage conditions of your spinach.
Generally food is frozen at 0ºF (-18ºC).
At this temperature if constantly frozen your spinach could last indefinitely as long as the packaging remains intact.
Spinach will be at its best for up to 12 months when stored at the correct temperatures in a deep freeze.
Eating frozen spinach beyond its sell by date is not a problem.
The sell by date is the manufacturers way of letting you the date at which the spinach is no longer at its peak.
If you begin to see the spinach change color, or that freezer burn is starting, then these are signs that your spinach is no longer at its freshest.